alert

adjective
\ ə-ˈlərt How to pronounce alert (audio) \

Definition of alert

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : watchful and prompt to meet danger or emergency an alert guard trying to stay alert to possible problems
b : quick to perceive and act mentally alert
2 : active, brisk elicited an alert response

alert

noun

Definition of alert (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a state of careful watching and readiness especially for danger or opportunity on 24-hour alert
2a : an alarm or other signal of danger traffic alerts They sounded the alert.
b : an urgent notice … an alert to parents … about new immunization requirements.— Ann Schrader
3 : the period during which an alert is in effect
on the alert
: looking for or expecting something (such as danger or an opportunity) Drivers need to be on the alert for icy condition. always on the alert for a good bargain

alert

verb
alerted; alerting; alerts

Definition of alert (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to call (someone) to a state of readiness : warn alerted the school board of a possible teachers' strike alert the authorities
2 : to make (someone) aware of something alerted the public to the dangers of pesticides

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Other Words from alert

Adjective

alertly adverb
alertness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for alert

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for alert

Adjective

watchful, vigilant, wide-awake, alert mean being on the lookout especially for danger or opportunity. watchful is the least explicit term. the watchful eye of the department supervisor vigilant suggests intense, unremitting, wary watchfulness. eternally vigilant in the safeguarding of democracy wide-awake applies to watchfulness for opportunities and developments more often than dangers. wide-awake companies latched onto the new technology alert stresses readiness or promptness in meeting danger or in seizing opportunity. alert traders anticipated the stock market's slide

intelligent, clever, alert, quick-witted mean mentally keen or quick. intelligent stresses success in coping with new situations and solving problems. an intelligent person could assemble it fast clever implies native ability or aptness and sometimes suggests a lack of more substantial qualities. clever with words alert stresses quickness in perceiving and understanding. alert to new technology quick-witted implies promptness in finding answers in debate or in devising expedients in moments of danger or challenge. no match for his quick-witted opponent

Examples of alert in a Sentence

Adjective An alert guard stopped the robbers. He was tired and had trouble staying alert while he was driving. She wasn't mentally alert enough to answer the questions. An alert watchdog guarded the door. Noun They sounded an alert when enemy planes were approaching the city. Medical officials have put out an alert to hospitals to look out for the virus. The government has issued a terrorism alert. Verb Several neighbors alerted the authorities when they noticed strangers acting suspiciously. The governor alerted island residents that a hurricane was coming. The teacher alerted the students that tests would be given the next day.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Before too long, air-conditioning systems kept the white-collar armies comfortable and alert in every season, and office work was broken down into tiny tasks that could be executed at high speed, day in, day out. Justin Davidson, Curbed, "New York City Made the Office," 26 Apr. 2021 The Defense Department and First Air Force were not involved in any decision to place the F-15C on an alert status for civilian disturbances, military spokespersons said. Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times, "California Guard members feared fighter jet would be ordered to frighten protesters," 23 Apr. 2021 On a scrubby plateau in the middle ground, a kindly donkey pauses near the edge of a chalky precipice over which stands an alert heron. William E. Wallace, WSJ, "Creatures Great and Small," 23 Apr. 2021 According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least five states allow for certain medical conditions or disorders to be noted on identification, license plates or vehicle registration to alert law enforcement and first responders. Lauren Castle, The Arizona Republic, "What are your rights when you get pulled over in a traffic stop?," 17 Apr. 2021 Proponents say these minor stops are an effective tool that alert police to more serious crimes. Andy Mannix, Star Tribune, "After Daunte Wright's killing, criticism of 'pretextual' traffic stops grows," 17 Apr. 2021 Breakfast kicks the brain into gear and keeps adults and kids alert throughout the morning. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Oatmeal breakfast bars are an easy grab-and-go way to break the fast," 17 Apr. 2021 The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has an emergency missing person alert out for a 13-year-old Florence girl last seen early Thursday morning at her home. John Sharp | Jsharp@al.com, al, "Emergency missing person alert out for 13-year-old Florence girl," 17 Apr. 2021 The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued the alert Saturday night for the products that were produced by Plainville Brands, LLC, which is based in New Oxford, Pennsylvania. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "USDA issues public health alert for more than 211,000 pounds of ground turkey for possible salmonella risk," 11 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun An alert about the suspects has been sent to law enforcement agencies nationwide. Henri Hollis, ajc, "GBI shares photos, additional leads in rideshare driver’s murder case," 27 Apr. 2021 The Food and Drug Administration issued an alert about the dangers of using a malaria drug that Trump had repeatedly promoted for coronavirus patients. BostonGlobe.com, "Today in History," 24 Apr. 2021 This is helpful in avoiding someone based in New Orleans, say, from receiving an alert about a tornado in Ohio. Laura Fisher, Southern Living, "The 7 Best Weather Radios to Help You Prepare for Any Situation," 22 Apr. 2021 The National Weather Service issued an early-morning alert about the conditions. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, "Fire risk strong Tuesday," 6 Apr. 2021 The company got its first alert about the prescient story on social media, said Ron Cacace, Archie Comics' digital marketing manager. Rick Rouan, USA TODAY, "Fact check: 'Betty' comic from 1997 showed kids attending virtual school in 2021," 2 Apr. 2021 This problem has gotten pervasive enough that the Better Business Bureau in recent days sent out an alert about the Amazon raffle announcement text scam. Andy Meek, BGR, "This is the reason I rarely open Apple’s Messages app anymore," 20 Mar. 2021 The most recent envelope was found on Friday, one day after the NYPD first sent an alert about the suspicious mailings. Mark Osborne, ABC News, "6 New York City schools sent envelopes containing white powder," 19 Mar. 2021 The National Weather Service issued an alert about the potential for snow, saying forecasters expect snowflakes to fall over the Portland area for a few hours, starting around mid- or late afternoon. The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Snow may arrive Tuesday in Portland, forecasters say," 26 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb According to the station, Astro hadn’t been trained to alert others in emergencies. Ann W. Schmidt, Fox News, "Texas dog awarded by fire department, animal services for saving his owner’s life," 21 Apr. 2021 Pick the tiniest piece of the task that doesn’t alert the caveman brain, and do just that. Melanie Fine, Forbes, "Coming Out From Under The Quarantine Covers - Why You Should Start Small," 10 Apr. 2021 Members of the group answer each other’s questions about their personal experiences signing up for and receiving the vaccine, and alert others when appointments become available. BostonGlobe.com, "Having trouble securing a COVID-19 vaccination appointment in Mass.? Here are some tips," 6 Apr. 2021 Crews will use portable digital message signs, reflective barrels, traffic barriers and portable construction traffic signs to alert motorists to the road closure and guide them through the detour route. S. Wayne Carter Jr., baltimoresun.com, "Section of Route 136 in Harford County to be detoured for one week starting Friday, April 9," 6 Apr. 2021 The iPhone feature specifically results in a loud siren that can alert others to your need for help, plus places an automatic call to emergency services in your area. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "This Emergency iPhone Hack Can Help Keep You and Your Loved Ones Safe," 18 Mar. 2021 This is not easy since some dogs seem to alert and bark almost instantaneously. Cathy M. Rosenthal, San Antonio Express-News, "How to prevent your dog from barking without a food reward," 4 Mar. 2021 Set up the triangles near your vehicle to alert others of your location and need for help. Hannah Drown, cleveland, "15 essential items for winter emergencies, snowstorms to keep in your car," 1 Dec. 2020 Start a fire with the ferro rod, use the emergency whistle to alert others, and rely on the strong combo blade (straight and serrated) for any number of tasks on your camping or fishing trip. Popular Science, "Be prepared for anything with these multi-tools," 26 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alert.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of alert

Adjective

1618, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1868, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alert

Adjective

borrowed from French alerte, going back to Middle French a l'herte "on guard, on the watch," borrowed from Italian all'erta, originally in the collocation stare all'erta "to be on the watch," literally, "to be on the height" (with erta "height, hill, steep ascent," noun derivative from feminine of erto, past participle of ergere "to raise, elevate," going back to Vulgar Latin *ērgere, by syncope from Latin ērigere) — more at erect entry 1

Note: The earliest citation for the word in the Oxford English Dictionary suggests direct borrowing from Italian, or at least recognition of an Italian source: "In this place the Prince [of Orange] finding his rutters [cavalry soldiers] alert, (as the Italians say) with aduise of his valiant brother, hee sent his Trumpets to D. d' Alua…." (Sir Roger Williams, The Actions of the Lowe Countries, London, 1618, p. 27).

Noun

noun derivative of alert entry 1 (or borrowed from French alerte, derivative of alerte, adjective)

Verb

verbal derivative of alert entry 1 or alert entry 2

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Statistics for alert

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alert. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for alert

alert

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of alert

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: able to think clearly and to notice things

alert

noun

English Language Learners Definition of alert (Entry 2 of 3)

: something (such as a message or loud sound) that tells people there is some danger or problem : an alarm or signal of danger
: the state of being ready for something you have been warned about (such as an attack)

alert

verb

English Language Learners Definition of alert (Entry 3 of 3)

: to give (someone) important information about a possible problem, danger, etc. : to warn (someone)
: to make (someone) aware of something

alert

adjective
\ ə-ˈlərt How to pronounce alert (audio) \

Kids Definition of alert

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : watchful and ready especially to meet danger But he was alert at night, too, on the road, always listening intently …— Lois Lowry, The Giver
2 : quick to understand and act An alert reader noticed the error in grammar.

Other Words from alert

alertly adverb The prairie dog sat alertly beside the opening of its burrow.

alert

noun

Kids Definition of alert (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an alarm or signal of danger The police issued an alert.
2 : the period during which an alert is in effect We stayed indoors during the alert.
on the alert
: watchful against danger … the remark had set us all on the alert, straining ears and eyes …— Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

alert

verb
alerted; alerting

Kids Definition of alert (Entry 3 of 3)

: to make aware of a need to get ready or take action : warn The siren alerted us that a tornado was approaching.

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More from Merriam-Webster on alert

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for alert

Nglish: Translation of alert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of alert for Arabic Speakers

Comments on alert

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